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Accelerating Through Learning Deficits: Just In Time Intervention is Closing the Gap

After a school year of remote and hybrid learning, state testing results for K-12 students showed a decline in the number of students meeting or exceeding grade-level learning standards. Prodeo was not immune to this trend. We know that face-to-face instruction facilitates richer learning, so we explored ways to supercharge learning this fall. The goal was to help students fill learning gaps at the same time as they mastered grade-level content.

Prodeo’s school-development team set its sights on facilitating learning recovery and acceleration to help all scholars meet or exceed learning goals during this school year by introducing Just-In-Time Intervention (JINTI).

It’s a teaching strategy that aims to give “the right amount of support to scholars at the right time.” Traditionally, to make up for learning loss or unfinished learning, teachers remediate or pre-teach all missed concepts from the prior grade at the beginning of the year, which wasn’t always effective.  

This approach is particularly destructive for students of color, as it means they spend much of the school year working on below-grade level content and are not exposed to the full range of skills and content of their current grade.

“JINTI is a technique that’s been studied and has shown great results in catching students up and combating unfinished learning that keeps students from achieving grade-level standards,” says Jess Hayes, Prodeo’s Director of Instruction.

With Targeted and Just-In-Time Intervention, teachers consider which material from previous grades students need to know to learn lessons at their current grade level. The teacher embeds that previous grade content during lessons in early questions or small group instruction. As the lesson continues, teachers selectively add more content from earlier grades when it is necessary as a foundation for upcoming current-grade learning.

Studies have shown that this approach, when applied to learning, helps scholars retain their strong foundation and build on that to expand knowledge and experience significant learning growth—leading to an acceleration in learning, allowing students to catch up even if they started behind.

How do teachers know what the right amount of help is and exactly when students need it? 

One of Prodeo’s strengths has always been its use of data. Principals and teachers work together to look at the results of assessments and in-class work to determine the correct pacing for lessons.  Some classrooms use a co-teaching structure, with teachers and interventionists assisting during learning. More eyes and qualified staff are around to interact with scholars, track progress, and help when needed.

Teachers also use small group work and one-on-one teaching to check in with students and identify when additional support or intervention is needed. 

What does that look like in a classroom? 

Whenever a teacher starts a new topic, they revisit core concepts from the previous grade level, then quickly move on to new material. By interweaving those prior-grade concepts into the current grade-level curriculum throughout the year, students grow more and struggle less. It makes learning the new material more effective.

“We’ve already seen some significant movement in the data. We believe that students will grow faster this year since they are primed to learn, focused on grade-level content, and make up for any missed learning from last year,” shares Jessica Hayes.

The past 20 months have been challenging for families, scholars, and teachers. Approaches like JINTI are data-proven practices that help our learners progress in school and help teachers facilitate this movement in a more efficient and effective way.

Read more about the success of Just In Time Intervention here.